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Waste not want not: We need innovative solutions. Not more landfills.

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 1, 2019
A July 11th article in the Star Tribune reported on the proposed 362-foot landfill expansion in Burnsville by Waste Management; a mountain of waste looming more than 30 stories over the Minnesota River. Along with creating an ugly eyesore along an essential waterway, this expansion will pollute our land, water, and air for decades, even centuries, to come. (“Stop Trashing the Climate” is one of several studies documenting the link between climate change and the unsustainable practice of waste generation).


Landfills are archaic, and we know they are harmful to our communities in ways beyond just a stinky eyesore. They are a source of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. Landfills also have a detrimental impact on soil, vegetation, and wildlife. And they are a major source of groundwater pollution in the form of “leachate,” runoff from rain and waste contamination. 

We can and must do better. We can and must continue to support innovative and proven alternatives to landfills such as the reuse and repair of goods and materials. 

At ReUSE Minnesota, we are expanding Minnesota’s reuse sector and studying the dramatic benefits of reducing waste through reuse. Research shows that one of the primary ways cities and counties are reducing landfill waste is through the expansion of the reuse sector. Currently, according to the MPCA, Minnesota’s reuse sector directly employs 46,000 employees and generates at least $4 billion in gross sales annually. And this sector continues to grow, showing there is a real desire to grow a sustainable economy and reduce waste across the State. 

We can take personal steps to reduce waste through reuse and we must hold our policymakers accountable for supporting sustainable, healthy communities. Local, county, and State agencies must heed the warning of the environmental hazards associated with increased waste; instead, these leaders must support reuse initiatives, which will reduce pollutants (including greenhouse gasses), build a healthier future, and a stronger economy.  

For instance, the legislature must pass the Fair Repair Bill, which would require manufacturers to provide repair information and replacement parts for consumer goods like refrigerators, small appliances, computers, cell phones, and more, to reduce waste. 

Metro area cities should also look to other forward-thinking cities across the country, which are adopting new policies and practices to reduce waste in landfills. To date, more than 160 municipalities across the country have adopted policies to reduce construction and demolition (C&D) waste, which now makes up the largest amount of waste in landfills. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, more than 80 percent of the 1.6 million tons of construction and demolition waste generated Statewide in 2013 was landfilled. Demolishing buildings and burying the waste is simply not a healthy or sustainable practice.

Instead of expanding the “dump”, we urge local officials to adopt a much more enlightened policy. Reduce waste on the front end. For example, a policy of reusing at least 5% of a building and recycling an additional 70% of its materials, typically results in net zero emissions. This policy also reduces substantially the amount of toxic material to buried in the ground.

One of ReUSE Minnesota’s members, Better Futures Minnesota, is a local pioneer in the effort to divert building materials from the waste stream. According to a Ecotone Analytics Environmental Impact Analysis, the demolition of 2000 sq ft house emits, on average, 250 metric tons of CO2 which is equal to driving 5 cars for a year. As an alternative, Better Futures diverts 85% of this typical house from the landfill, which results in net zero emissions.

Minnesota’s estimated 46,000 workers in the reuse and repair sectors are practicing innovative solutions and practical alternatives to the building a 30-story landfill. Reuse helps us protect Mother Earth and build healthier communities. We call for local, county, and State officials to make a new choice: support solutions to reduce waste and help grow a reuse economy.

Steve Thomas, Board Member, ReUSE Minnesota

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UPDATED DEADLINE: RFP - Reporting Measurement and Oversight

Posted By Dara Rudick, Friday, July 26, 2019

Please note: We have updated our proposal due date to August 8, 2019.  It was originally August 1, 2019.

ReUSE Minnesota is seeking an accomplished individual or firm to provide and execute a methodology and tools for collecting data to measure the environmental, economic and social impacts of reuse, rental, and repair activities statewide. The tool(s) will be used to document the benefits of the products and services provided by ReUSE Minnesota’s member businesses and organizations statewide.  Funding for this project is from the State of Minnesota’s Environmental Trust Fund. 

View the Attached RFP for more information.

View Vendor Q&A webinar recording here.

Also attached - Q&A Addendum, not included in webinar recording.

Please note: We have updated our proposal due date to August 8, 2019.  It was originally August 1, 2019.

Download File (PDF)

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The Power and Impact of Building Material Reuse (REGISTRATION CLOSED)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2019

Join us for ReUSE Minnesota's May Webinar
Thursday, May 16, 2019
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

The Power and Impact of Building Material Reuse

This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of reusing and repurposing used building materials. In Minnesota, less than 30% of used building materials are reused or recycled, the rest are buried in landfills. The presenters will describe ways to reverse this inefficient, harmful practice and create economic opportunities statewide.

The presenters operate businesses that reclaim used materials and outlets for selling the reclaimed goods. Please join us to learn more about these social enterprises and discuss ways we can expand these businesses within a growing circular economy!

Panelists:

  • Steve Thomas, ReUSE Minnesota
  • Thomas Adams, Better Futures
  • John McCarthy, North Shore Architectural Antiques

Free to attend!

This is Part I of a two-part series. The second webinar, 'Policies to Promote Building Material Stewardship,' will be on Thursday, June 13.  Learn more and register online.

Questions?
Contact us at info@reusemn.org or (612) 352-9119.


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ReUSE Minnesota Wants YOU!

Posted By Admin, Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Updated: Sunday, April 28, 2019

Are you a reuse enthusiast? Are you interested in joining a community? Are you looking for a way to support local businesses and organizations? Are you excited to volunteer and share or develop a skillset?

If you said “yes!” to any of these scenarios, then you’re a great fit for ReUSE Minnesota Ambassadors!

ReUSE Minnesota Ambassadors are our organization’s fantastic volunteers that support ReUSE Minnesota’s mission through a wide range of opportunities. Depending on your interests, experience, and availability you can:

  • Table at events and casually talk with people about the reuse industry, our organization, and opportunities to reuse, repair, and rent. Examples: Green Gifts Fair at Midtown Global Market, Earth Day celebrations, sporting events
  • Present at events and more formally share information about reuse, tips for reuse, and becoming involved with ReUSE Minnesota. Examples: Local businesses and nonprofits interested in incorporating more reuse, community education courses
  • Support an event and help with set-up/take-down or coordinating activities. Examples: Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience, ReUSE Minnesota conferences
  • Create content to share in ReUSE Minnesota’s newsletter and social media platforms
  • Provide a completely different skill or dive into an area of interest you think would benefit the organization – we’d love to hear your ideas!

After your initial training, there isn’t a requirement for how many events you need to attend or the amount of time you need to commit, so your involvement can flex based on your availability.

Our big upcoming event is a booth at the Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience this summer – the Repair & Reuse RoomSubmit an application today and we’ll be in touch!

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Call TODAY to Show Your Support for Minnesota Passing Fair Repair Legislation

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 8, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thank you to those of you that joined us for ReUSE Minnesota's February webinar on the Fair Repair legislation pending in Minnesota. This is an exciting time for the Fair Repair bill as it has started to be heard in the MN House Committees!

The passing of this bill is an important opportunity for Minnesota communities and local businesses by requiring electronics manufacturers provide consumers and independent repair shops with access to replacement parts, tools, manuals, software, and firmware. We've included a brief update on the MN Fair Repair bill, along with ways you can be involved in Minnesota becoming the first state to pass this legislation.

Update:

- The Fair Repair bill has been pending in Minnesota for the past five years, but this year has the strongest coalition and community support to-date.

- HF1138 (Fair Repair bill) passed out of the MN House Commerce Committee on Friday, March 8th, and will be referred for the next hearing with the House Judiciary Finance & Civil Law Committee on Tuesday, March 12th.

- The coalition is in the process of engaging testifiers and gathering support for the hearing.

How YOU Can Help Before the Next Hearing:

1. Contact your representatives

a. Find your MN House representative and call, or write a message at https://minnesota.repair.org/ to request their support for the Fair Repair bill. You can communicate the environmental opportunity to reduce eWaste through greater repair (on average America throws out 416,000 phones per day), the economic opportunity for creating jobs as the first state to pass this bill, and the equity and fairness opportunity within electronic repair by making this information accessible.

2. Contact the House Judiciary Committee

a. Call or email members of the House Judiciary Committee, and share your support for the Fair Repair bill (HF 1138) and ask them to vote in favor of it at the upcoming hearing.

3. Come to the hearing & testify

a. Show your support in person by attending the hearing next Tuesday. Contact Tim Schaefer, the Minnesota coalition lead, if you would like to receive an update on the timing and location. TSchaefer@EnvironmentMinnesota.org

4. Thank the representatives moving this bill forward

a. Email Rep. Fischer (rep.peter.fischer@house.mn), and thank him for his commitment to this legislation and the positive impact it will have on businesses, communities, and the environment.

b. Email Rep. Halverson (rep.laurie.halverson@house.mn), and thank her for the time she gave as the House Commerce Chair during the hearing on Friday, March 8th.

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Join us at our February Member Meeting!

Posted By Administration, Friday, January 25, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

******BECAUSE OF THE FORECAST OF YET ANOTHER WINTER STORM THE FEBRUARY 12TH MEMBER MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 26TH. All other details remain the same******

Join us at Eureka Recycling for our February Member Meeting! Enjoy a tour of their Material Recovery Facility, a discussion of the happenings of the reuse community, networking with people in the reuse sector, and a tasty lunch courtesy of our host.

The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 26, from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at Eureka Recycling in Minneapolis. RSVP here or call 612-352-9119 to reserve yourself a spot.

As a zero waste demonstration and lab, touring Eureka Recycling's Material Recovery Facility (or MRF for short) shows you how recyclable materials are collected, separated, and then sold – all within the framework of a triple bottom line business and a locally-focused social enterprise model. On the tour we’ll also talk about how reuse fits into Eureka Recycling’s zero-waste vision and how reuse benefit recycling facilities. We’ll learn more about how recycling impacts our community, our local economy, and the environment. Please wear closed toed shoes if you plan on joining the tour. Also note that parking is limited, so we recommend carpooling or taking transit when possible. Limited spots are available to the right as you enter the facility both to the north of the office building and directly in front of it. Street parking is available on Kennedy Street as well.

This is the quarterly meeting for members of ReUSE Minnesota to network, discuss the happenings of the reuse community, and meet new people in the Reuse sector.

The event is open to everyone interested in reuse–you don't have to be a member to join us!

 

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Your clothes can say a lot about you. Do you like what they’re saying?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2019

The clothing industry is one of the most environmentally destructive, and it can be hard to know where to even start to find clothing with a lighter footprint. Luckily, at the Green Gifts Fair on Saturday, November 17, ReUSE Minnesota and the Thrift Stylists from Arcs Value Village will be on hand to show you how to create a wardrobe you love that’s also easy on the planet!

The 13th annual Green Gifts Fair will run from 10am - 5pm at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. There will be 85 sustainable vendors, education booths, food, prizes, and more. The 2018 theme is #MyGreenJourney—exploring and celebrating ALL of our journeys to live sustainably and have an earth-friendly holiday season. Attendees can also complete an activity passport throughout the fair for (adult and kid-friendly) prizes. Invite your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers – you won’t want to miss it!

Visit www.doitgreen.org/green-gifts-fair for the full list of vendors, demos, and the main stage schedule.

Want to spend more time at the Fair, hang out with ReUSE Minnesota volunteers, and help teach others about reuse? Sign up for a volunteer shift.

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Catch ReUSE Minnesota at the State Fair!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 26, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

 Catch ReUSE Minnesota at the State Fair!

 

We can’t wait to host the Repair for Reuse room again at the Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience! You won't want to miss the countless hands-on activities, fix-it resources, and demos from many of our awesome member organizations. Whether you’re new to reuse, a hobbyist, or an experienced DIYer, you’ll learn something new about reuse, rental, and repair.

 

Here’s a look at what we have in store:

  • August 23: catch a live broadcast of the Makers of Minnesota podcast, learn simple household fixes from Bridging, and make tote bags from old t-shirts with ReUSE Minnesota
  • August 24: join Jan Hagerman, frequent WCCO TV guest, for a DIY repair and repurposing demo with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity ReStore
  • August 25: learn more about free local Fix-It clinics and how to repair many household items
  • August 26: make tote bags from old t-shirts and learn new ways reuse your jeans with Mobile Menders
  • August 27: hang out with Repair Lair, the outdoor gear and clothing repair experts
  • August 28 and 30: enter your name in a drawing to win a FREE refurbished laptop from Tech Discounts
  • August 29: get ideas and tips for re-thrifting and upcycling your thrifted finds from the Salvation Army
  • August 31: repair a flat tire and get answers to your bike repair questions with Mr Michael Recycles Bicycles
  • September 1: learn more about free local Fix-It clinics and how to repair many household items
  • September 2: check out refurbished and restyled vintage furniture by Omforme designs
  • September 3: make tote bags from t-shirt with ReUSE Minnesota

The fair runs August 23-September 6! Help us spread the word by sharing on Facebook.

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Become a ReUSE Minnesota Ambassador!

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 2, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Are you passionate about saving our planet for future generations? What about helping others realize how they can reuse more and conserve resources? Then you'd be the perfect ReUSE Minnesota Ambassador.

Our mission at ReUSE Minnesota is to support sustainable living and prevent waste by connecting people to local, thrifty, and eco-friendly reused goods and reuse-related services.

We're building a team of volunteer ambassadors that will help us spread the power of reuse to organizations and individuals throughout the state. There are a few different ways you can get involved, including...

  • Staffing the ReUSE Minnesota table at events like the Minnesota State Fair and the Green Gift Fair
  • Organizing and participating in short info sessions for people who want to learn more about how they can reuse, repair, and rent
  • Helping recruit new ReUSE Minnesota member organizations
  • Writing blogs for our website and quarterly newsletter

Give as much or as little time as you like–choose just one or a few of these activities! Or, if you have different ideas about how your unique skills could contribute to the ambassador team, let us know.

APPLY

Have questions about becoming an ambassador? Contact Annie Pottorff.

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UPDATED - ReUSE Minnesota Request for Proposals (RFP) For Association Management Services

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 14, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019

ReUSE MN is seeking proposals from association management companies with the values and talent required to implement and complete the activities outlined in the Environmental Trust Fund proposal (included in this RFP). NOTE: The award of this association management contract is contingent on the Legislature fully funding the grant proposal. Historically, the Legislature makes its decisions by June 1 st.

https://www.reusemn.org/download_file/view/802/

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